Fox and Kankakee Rivers
In addition to Lake Michigan, Northeastern Illinois also has two rivers that communities use for drinking water: the Fox and the Kankakee Rivers.
The Fox River flows 70 miles, beginning near Menominee Falls, Wisconsin, and continues on until it reaches Illinois and flows for 115 miles through the Chicago metropolitan area, before it finally converges with the Illinois River in Ottawa, Illinois. In our region, the Fox River is a partial drinking water source for Aurora and Elgin, Illinois, which represent over 300,000 people in our region.
The Kankakee River is approximately 90 miles long, flowing westward from the rural outskirts of South Bend, Indiana to western Will County, where it joins the Des Plaines River and eventually flows into the Illinois River. In our region, the Kankakee River is a drinking water source for Wilmington and Kankakee, Illinois, which represents a population of more than 32,000.
Additional communities in our region are exploring the use of these two rivers as a drinking water sources for the future.